So, after all my philosophizing about change, and earthquakes, and aftershocks, the dust is settling and I’m just feeling crappy. Spent most of yesterday in bed. Now I realize that most hip chicks don’t have the luxury of lolling about like that, what with kids and regular jobs and such, but I want to make a pitch for–every once in a while–letting EVERYTHING drop. The responsibilities, the tension, the self itself.

You see, in macrobiotics, we’re looking to harmonize with the 5 Transformations of Energy which are: Rising (Tree), Expansive (Fire), Falling (Earth), Gathering (Metal) and Floating (Water). Every energy phenomenon follows this pattern, whether it’s the seasons of the year, the movements of the day, or the psychic shifts of a relationship. The downward side of the cycle doesn’t always represent death, per se, but it is always a shedding of skin and a deep movement inward. Given that my “earthquake” was my ending an important relationship, yesterday I was in the falling, gathering, floating mode as I experience its death.

It always amazes me how strong our cultural taboo is against letting anything drop, or fall. I guess it’s considered a failure. Or maybe we avoid it because it’s just downright painful to feel grief. And to be macrobiotic–made of the stuff of nature–the pain is very real, and hard to avoid. But what if flowers never drooped? What if old people never finally let go? What if we never shed tears and just let them bloat us tight and shiny-faced until we burst? The dropping of things is essential to re-birth. And right now, I’m shedding a skin. It doesn’t feel very good, and even I had resistance to the “maybe I just won’t get out of bed today” thought, but once I surrendered, I was able to let go of my self, my life, and any modicum of control I think I have. And I actually feel better today.

How do you let things go? What in your life needs to release and float? Are you open to experiencing it? This time of year is about contraction, going inward. It is happening to you whether you know it or not. How does it feel? If you are in the Southern Hemiphere, you are experiencing expansion. Lucky you! Enjoy it fully!

On a lighter note, I recently attended an event that was the opposite of what I’m going through now: It was a crazy, boozy, night of rising and expanding energy that started with a trip to the Royal Winter Fair. Now, you can probably surmise from its name that the RWF is a veritable WASP’s nest. I hadn’t partaken of my tribe’s rituals quite like this for years, so it was with high heels, champagne flute and camera in hand that I took in the sights and sounds. We ended the evening by dancing ’til 2, but that was TOO HOT to record.

My cousins (the one on the right is not me–we just share enough genes to confuse people)

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Here’s my second cousin Alice’s bitchin’ dress that was handmade for her grandmother in the early 60s. I could NEVER have kept it clean for 40 years. Most Hip Dress that night:

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Here’s me with Michael Bloomberg, the Mayor of New York City. NO ONE ELSE RECOGNIZED HIM!! It was weird. He was there because his daughter was competing in the horse jumping.

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Finally, three short vids:

1) GOT AN EXTRA MIL TO THROW AROUND? 2) SOMETIMES I DO MY AEROBICS ON MY HORSE TOO3) I THINK THESE HORSES ARE TRACING THE YIN/YANG SYMBOL…So, wherever you happen to be in the 5 transformations right now, in your relationships, your life, your year, remember to eat whole foods, chew them well and don’t forget to share them with your horse.

filed under My Life, Spiritual Stuff


Nov 30

Change

Sometimes change happens like an earthquake. When I lived in southern California for a while, I remember realizing that the two biggest bummers about the L.A. experience were a) traffic and b) earthquakes. Traffic I could sometimes avoid–by being wiley–but earthquakes… I almost tried to anticipate one, in some insane attempt to prepare myself for the horrible shakeup it would bring. As if you can prepare to be swallowed into a crevass! Or to be bounced forty feet in the air–still behind the steering wheel! Complete shakeups are rarely orchestrated, and generally happen to us–the type of change the average Western-worlder gets insurance for.

But we can’t avoid them. Death. Breakups. the Flu. They all come as earthquakes to the body and mind. The best we can do is be as present as possible for the experience, and then take the opportunity to change as much as possible while the earth is still shaking. Not just tossing life like a salad, but allowing more shifts to take place–the shifts that have been getting ready to happen.  Lying in wait.

I just went through an earthquake and I am still experiencing the aftershocks. It rocked through my being with all the forces of nature; anger, truth, compassion, shame, guilt, terror–all intermingled with a profound sense of peace each time I surrendered to the quake’s violence. The funny thing is that the epicenter was deep inside of me, and I didn’t even know it. Oh, I suppose there were some clues, but nothing that registered on my personal Richter scale. Little did I know I was a Krakatoa (okay, that’s a volcano–indulge me), waiting to erupt with change–to fling off crusty sludge to align more with myself, my truth, and with Nature.

And I’m letting this be an opportunity for more: In hypnosis, we say that someone is hypnotized when the critical part of their mind is bypassed–in other words, when their conscious thinking is arrested–and, in that moment, new suggestions can get into the subconcious mind. So, if the earthquake is the bypass of the critical mind (and boy, is it!), then the aftershocks provide opportunities for real, deep re-programming. Here’s an incomplete list of what I’ve learned from this:

I am stronger than I think.

Love is never wasted.

The truth is a force, not a concept.

There is healing in everything.

Aftershock: I’ve painted my apartment. It’s a buttery yellow and it RULES!!! Just because I don’t eat it doesn’t mean I don’t want to live in a buttery womb of lovely yellowness.

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Aftershock: I’ve been actively changing my food. We all get into ruts, whether it’s that our health food store never changes its produce, or we fail to crack the recipe books, and I need to get out of my leek/mushroom/tempeh stirfry addiction. Whenever my body reaches for something familiar, I’m saying “make another choice” and pushing my envelope. By changing food, I am changing my blood, my consciousness, my everything. And the nice thing is that it’s not so earthquakey–more like a gardener’s rate of change… gentle and spectacular.

Aftershock: Falling in love with cooking again; the kitchen is a whole lot more inviting this time of year–if only as a source of heat–so I’m diving in, allowing myself to be moved like a witch with my powerful potions in my urban cauldron. Cooking hones the intuition, and the more time I spend in the kitchen, the more magical my life becomes. I’m excited to be playing with that power again.

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So as you continue to explore and practice MB, put on any available seat belt you can find (haha), eat whole foods as much as you can, chewing them well. Yes, sometimes there will be an earthquake–there’s no avoiding nature’s shocking adjustments–and when they come, take good advantage. Thankfully, on most days, we can pick up our surfboards, run to the beach, and ride the ocean of life.

Change is good. Chew well.

filed under My Life, Spiritual Stuff


Last Friday, the Canadian monopoly known as Air Canada hit a major snafu; every single one of the computers of their global network went down. Ouch. For about 6 hours. Double ouch. And I happened to be flying on Friday. On what airline, you ask? Mais bien sur, Air Computer Crash itself. Triple ouch.

I read this horrible book two years ago called The Long Emergency by James Howard Kuntzler. It’s not actually that the book is horrible–it’s that it predicts horrible things, mainly concerning the end of the fossil fuel platform on which we live, travel, eat, and do just about every other thing in our lives that doesn’t involve a horse, a mule or a human slave. We’re all so glad the days of slavery are over, and that is due, not only to the uplift of the human conscience and character, but to the fact that we have oil and natural gas to do all those jobs for us. Anyway, Mister Kuntzler–in a book–effectively changed how I look at the future forever. And as someone who not only stockpiled rice, water, canned beans, coins and blankets for Y2K, but was also on a freaking local committee preparing the neighborhood for it, I have been known to (putting it mildly) prepare for the worst. So I shouldn’t be reading books like The Long Emergency. Let’s just say that dystopic visions of the future can wreck my day with gusto.

Well, in order to share the misery a bit, let’s just say that we’re in for some struggles ahead–and apparently, those struggles pit us against one another as we wrestle for increasingly decreasing resources. And the worst in us comes out. So basically, when I think of anything beyond, say, 2057 or so, I see us all as rabid, gun-toting militiamen scouring the parched planet for little vegetables patches that the savvy and prescient will have learned how to grow in preparation for the end times. Great stuff. I would really want to date me and make a future together!

Luckily, there is a healthier side of me always searching for evidence to the contrary. And I found it, on Friday, waiting for Air Incompetence to get its act together. Whereas we were all justified, after having stood in line for, oh, FOUR HOURS, to smear our collective feces all over the walls like caged monkeys, my line-mates and I chatted, commiserated, held each other’s places when Nature called, bought one another coffee, went for updates and just generally bonded. After hour five, when we should have been getting all American (I am a dual citizen and definitely felt tempted) to YELL OUR HEADS OFF about the customer always being right and the downright lousy service we were getting, we, instead, pulled each other’s suitcases forward in line so that babies could be attended to. It was lovely. At hour six, when we finally got to the ticket counter and the woman there, who had just started her shift asked “and WHY exactly did you miss your flight this morning?” we grimaced and shook our weak fists in unison, understanding our mutual frustration completely. Later, past security and customs, stuck in the belly of the airport, waiting for a 9 p.m. flight, we took naps, had beers and dinner, and shared about our lives to the point where numbers were exchanged and who knows… some of those people may be reading about themselves right now.

All this to say… you are a BUMMER, Howard Kuntzler, and you are making me a lousy date! I don’t believe that people–under pressure–do anything but get closer and needier and more generous and just generally lovelier. That’s what I choose to believe today. So there.

By the way, this is why I bothered to stay at the airport: FRIENDS IN FLORIDA

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filed under My Life


Dear Blog Reader,
So I’m realizing that you’re really out there. Yikes. And we have a … uh …relationship going. Double yikes. So, lucky for you I DRANK COFFEE TODAY!!! Woooooo hooooooo!!!! Yeeeeeeeee haaaaaaaawwww!!! … I wrote a story about it for my book, which never made the cut, but not because it didn’t TOTALLY KICK ASS!! Woooooooo hooooooooooo!!!! Yeeeeeeee Haaaaaaaaaaaw!! The story is below this photo, which I took recently on my sister’s street. Such a funny contrast, the Fall leaves and the sandals. And I was worried that Toronto would be the igloo of my childhood!

But wait. I can’t stop now. I’m caffeinated! More about “us”. Thanks so much for being there! I was freaked out by you at first, but now I’m warming up to the whole idea. Like any intimate relationship, I know we both have “issues” and “walls”, maybe even some “hurts from the past”. Let’s do our best to work through them, shall we? I’ll try not to drink too much coffee and you, well… I wish you would pick up a little more around the house… but I’m also committed to accepting you for exactly who you are, unconditionally. I think I can get over that thing you did that time. I really do. You’re only human. xoxo Jess
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COFFEE BREAK:
I just downed a Venti soy cappucino from my local coffee-chain, the closest thing we’ve come to the giant insects we all thought in the sixties would take over the planet one day. I spent four dollars on the sucker and I’m getting a bang for my buck.

Once, as I called her from a red London phone booth, I told my English friend Amy that I had just had a cup of coffee. Amy is very pure, doesn’t eat this, doesn’t eat that, many omissions due, I might add ironically, to my counsel. I confessed that I had been riding the bucking bronco which is caffeine and she told me the story of the spider in the Times:

“The Times did an experiment where they gave a spider nicotine, alcohol and caffeine. After each drug, they had the spider spin a web. The nicotine web was a bit messy and nervy, the alcohol web was a little sloppy, as one might imagine. But the caffeine web, the caffeine web was a total DISAAAAHSTAH!”

And that’s exactly how she said it: Disaahstah. It is painful to be admonished in a proper English accent. I felt ashamed that my friend had caught me. I was the spider and whatever web I was planning to spin that day was doomed already. She wouldn’t trust me again until the coffee beans had run their course. She would listen to me differently, awaiting a misstep, a botched corner or mis-aligned silky strand.

So I am the spider right now, and you are in my web. Luckily, we are both experiencing the initial rush of confidence, adrenaline, and mild euphoria.

I feel like I can write anything!! I’m quite impressed with the above paragraphs, thinking that the spider imagery is a nice touch. I can see this book becoming a HUGE bestseller and my friend Amy outing herself at posh parties as THE English Amy in “Hip Chick”. Aaaaah, caffeine. No wonder we do it. It feels so damned good.

Caffeine is an excellent example of the principle: The bigger the front, the bigger the back. The front to a cup of coffee is what I’m experiencing right now: The up, the rush, the high. And there will be an equally intense back. If I’m smart, I’ll just caffeinate myself right through the back, feeling it as little as possible.

In fact, most of North American life is a big avoidance of the back of things. Life starts out and we get, get, get: Bigger, richer, more responsibile, more aware, more kids. Then it starts to slide in the other direction. We begin to lose things. Our hair, our flexibility, some dreams, eventually some friends, finally our minds and then it’s over. And we’re not encouraged to feel the losses.

I awoke in the middle of the night sobbing recently. I had been having a dream about two sets of relationships in my life: First was my mother and sister, the principle family members I grew up with. As adults, we all live airplane distances from one another. My sister had just left from a week-long visit the day before and I hadn’t spoken to my mother in about ten days. In the dream, I felt a real sense of powerlessness over the changes occurring within these relationships, namely the improvement of things with sister Sue and what I know will be the eventual loss of my mother.

The other duo brought forth in the dream consisted of two good friends from high school. We were thicker than thieves as kids, then pulled apart for a while, and now I am godmother to their babies. The relationships have grown, changed, and because of that, a loss has taken place. The me I was and the them they were are gone. Everything is good, but new people are here now, actively forcing me to let go of the past and shed an ego skin. And that hurts. I wonder how a spider feels when I whack his web with a broom.

So I wake myself up with my own wailing, actual wailing like I imagine they do in Jerusalem. I am startled by the intensity of it all when my conscious mind finally kicks in and says “What the hell is going on here?”. I am embarrassed, worried that my upstairs neighbor, a Sammy Hagar look-alike, might be listening to this pathetic midnight sob.

I am not surprised that I feel grief. What seems weird to me is that, clearly, there was no space in my waking life to feel this stuff. I hadn’t created the room to feel the loss or the pain consciously, all of which seemed very natural now that it was happening. I kept this stuff a secret even from myself and it had to sneak out in the middle of the night to breathe.

Another front and back: Big front that I am still in the lives of these people and our connections get richer by the day. Big back that the price I pay for that is the pain of letting go of life as it slips by.

The caffeine is sort of leveling off now. No longer high, my brain just feels buzzed. Hovering somewhere between a rush and a crash, my eyes are fixed on the screen as I await the inevitable blacktop of the runway that greets my bumpy landing.

Headache moving in as my fingers get less confident on the keyboard. Tiny little tremors rip through them, my own personal electrical storm. Because I know a little too much about this stuff, I am imagining my bones being completely leached of all calcium by the caffeine I’ve ingested and I am having flash-forwards to the funky electric chair that slides up the staircase which my future children will have to install for me in our future house so that grandma can get to her TV and crocheting.

I am noticing my heartbeat now. I seems louder than normal.

I think I’m in for the crash sometime soon. It’s been about an hour since I bought the coffee. I’m thinking: maybe the spider makes a helluva web the first hour. The best friggin’ web he’s done in months! He sits back, evaluating with pride his stunning work. The scientists from the Times seemed to miss that. But then it all changes. The finishing touches are necessary for maximum fly-catching and the crash is setting in. Irritable, the spider lurks back into the center of the web, looking around, wondering what to do next. “I hate making webs” he thinks to himself. He is frozen, a victim of his own plummeting spider blood sugar. Life, just moments ago one fantastic vision of idiot flies sailing head-long into his masterpiece, now sucks. Who cares? He drops a defiant poop and glares at the scientists.

The problem with caffeine is that the crash makes me want to escape myself. And one of the great escapes from the conscious mind is sleep. But I can’t sleep. The caffeine won’t permit it. I am destined, like a four-dollar zombie, to stare blankly as miserable, resentful thoughts march through my brain like a bunch of Eastern European soldiers on a rainy day. Lucky I am alone right now. I wouldn’t want to be someone in my presence. I would judge me silently and harshly. My eyes are cold like a shark’s and my vibe is not exactly warm. My head is pounding now and my conscious mind is in total control. The chatterbox. So this is what she meant by
“disaaahstah”.

Sick of my mind, I am now dusting my office. It pisses me off every time I dust something so hard it falls over, and my web seems to be getting messy as quickly as clean. The scientists would love this.

I want to just sit down and read, doing some research for this book I have the grandiosity to think that I can write and that you–whoever the hell you are–will read. Oh God, what’s it all about anyway? Life, I mean. Who do I think I am, writing a book? Whatever. My heart is loud again. I can’t sit still to read.

I put on the newest Madonna CD. It helps to drown out the voices in my head, but I am insanely jealous of her. How on earth did she manage a career like that, actually changing and growing and expressing herself every single time we as a culture declared her all dried up? The yoga! Motherhood!! And that SEX book!!? She’s crazy, man. She lives in England now. Maybe Amy knows her.

I’m dancing at my keyboard now. Body moving to Madonna’s beat. Grateful to be discharging energy some other way than through my brain, I am like a kid at a rave, my spine undulating just because the drugs and the music demand it.

I would stop reading now if I were you. I don’t expect much more of myself. I either need to re-caffeinate or sit through the withdrawal of a headache, followed tomorrow by a death-deep nap. Then I will be myself again, catching a fly or two.

THANKS TO NEIL SATTIN OF NEILSATTIN.COM FOR THIS LINK SHOWING THE CAFFEINE WEB

filed under My Life, Spiritual Stuff


Nov 08

Crazy New Vid

Ingredients:
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[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3PlzZII-EvA]

filed under Video recipe


Pardon the oxymoron, but I have been meditating like a maniac of late. Back in 1996, I went to Texas to take a 10-day Vipassana meditation retreat, where we meditated 10 hours a day (not in a row) for ten days (yes, in a row). It was a silent retreat, and–now that I reflect upon it–it was the not talking that probably challenged me the most. I actually broke that rule on Day Seven with this very pretty woman named–believe it or not–Angel. She was pregnant, around my age, and we were walking back, in single file, from the meditation hall to the bathroom when I just lost it: “Psssst. Angel“, I whispered. She turned around, her belly determining the speed, alarmed at words coming out of me. “Yeah?” she whispered, realizing she was breaking the rules too. “I have to talk to someone” I pleaded, with the desperation I saw in certain 5-year olds last week just NEEDING another piece of their Hallowe’en loot. I can’t remember what we discussed in the bathroom that day, but it was like my birthday and an orgasm all at once, just getting some words out.

Anyhoo, I learned a very particular meditation technique during that time and Elizabeth Gilbert, author of “Eat (I’m so jealous) Pray (Let’s do another printing!) Love (not quite J.K. Rowling, but only Jesus comes close to that)” talks about it in the India part of her story. She describes this type of meditation as really hardcore and not for sissies. That made me feel better about my little tete a tete with Angel that day. Frankly, the retreat was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done, but not hard in an “Omigod-my-legs-are-burning-and-sweat-is-pouring-through-my -80s-leotard-and-I-think-I’m-gonna-pass-out” aerobics class sort of way. Nor was it “my-mother-has-cancer” hard… It was a “If-I-have-to-scan-my-left-foot-with-my-molasses-slow-mind-one-more -time-I’m-pretty-sure-I-am-going-to-evaporate” kind of hard. You know it? There is a dive into the unnameable, personality-less, dark and wide chasm of the Infinite Universe that takes place after a few days of sitting, when all the buzz of the mind has settled down, and you are faced with hours and hours of meditation to come–and yet, there is really only this moment, and then this moment, and then this one, and the whole thing is totally MERCILESS. Hence, my desperate call to Angel, to reinforce that I did, in fact, inhabit a self . . .with a mouth . . . that could say things.

At the same time, this selflessness is totally liberating. I like to think that we are all actually the great Nothingness which is also the great Everythingness. Can you smell what I’m steppin’ in?

After all that meditating, it was recommended that we toddle off back into our lives and sit in meditation for, oh, just… 2 HOURS every day. Yeah right! I was already cooking about that much, going to self-help meetings and writing in my journal every night. My beloved Dr. Phil hadn’t started yet, so I couldn’t add that to my bag of “things I must do for ME every day” yet, but let’s just say, the bag was getting kinda heavy. 2 hours of meditation just wasn’t gonna happen. And yes, I know that Dr. Phil is cheesy, but I just love him–for no good reason, except that he comes on at 5 o’clock and seems a really neat combination of yin and yang. Love is blind.

I settled for one half hour of meditation, on a quasi-regular basis. And it’s been very helpful. I truly think that my Vipassana retreat and subsequent practice basically put the final touches on the curing of my eating disorder; I have not binged once since the retreat. That doesn’t mean I don’t put things in my mouth sometimes that I wish weren’t there, but I never passionately, violently pack my face with food like I used to. Meditation has helped me as an actress, a hypnotherapist and teacher–it’s a great and practical tool for life. Half an hour a day seemed just fine, thank you very much, Mr. Buddha Man!!

But this week, I bloodied my head against a particular wall just enough so that I sat down to meditate for a full hour, for the first time in ten years. I needed to go deep, to get my mind to molasses-speed, to pull all of myself to my center so that I stopped banging my blood-encrusted noggin so hard. And it feels wonderful. I feel like I have choice back. I have the “I don’t need to call that person back just because he called me” which is every Hip Chick’s trump card, and a precious one at that. If it takes an hour a day to earn back that freedom, inch-inch, I’m game. It feels like a homecoming to that lovely nothingness, where all the power lies. I wish I could tell Angel.

How do you bring yourself back to center?

filed under Spiritual Stuff


Oct 29

Humility

Well, well, well… I have been teaching cooking classes here in Toronto, and I guess what irks me the most is just how much I DON’T know about all this stuff I profess to know. Last night, I had a new assistant, a really lovely young woman made of impossibly long limbs and extra-healthy skin who had given up a life as a research scientist in (drumroll) NEURO IMMUNOLOGY to go into Ayurvedic medicine and cooking. WHOAH. ME TOO! How weird is THAT?

But it keeps me humble. Makes me want to crack my macro books again, especially The Book of Macrobiotics, by Michio, which–when I first read it over fifteen years ago–BLEW MY MIND. I think that sometimes I feel like I’m functioning in a vacuum, surrounded by workaholic Canadians, and I forget that the spiral of my fingerprint is a lovely, stubby fractal of The Milky Way.

Maybe I’ve just been too busy shooting movies. You heard me! I have had one line in three different movies this year and I could not be happier. In fact, I am now going to retrieve the lost blog entry I wrote this summer after shooting the first one. MB is all about living one’s dream, and I guess I wish my dream were something a little more highfalutin, like “neuro-immunology” and not “putting on wigs and pretending to be other people”, but hey, you can’t pick yer path.

Chew well.

filed under Living Your Dream


Okay, I’m blogging again. I have to admit that I used the “my blog vanished into cyberspace” episode as an excuse to take a little breaky-poo from the posting. I was doing really well, keeping myself to an every-Wednesday schedule, and then it all just broke down. I’m not even sure I want to re-post all the stuff that I lost (which I retrieved) because it’s sort of embarrassing stuff about how I can’t manage to get myself into a healthy, intimate relationship. Oh well, I will look it over again and see which bits and pieces make me look moderately normal.

Speaking of relationships, I have started to cook a little for my father. Which is kind of a big deal. You see, my parents separated (which is to say, Mom asked Dad to leave) when I was all of 18 months old. It wasn’t a huge drama; there was no infidelity, just the dawning recognition that they had gotten married for all the wrong reasons–they were the right age, came from the same world, both liked art, and the parents thought it was a hell of an idea. Dad promptly went to law school, my sister was born, and by the time I came around, I think the gas had run out of the relationship. So Mum, in rather a ballsy move at the time, said “Basta!” and struck out on her own.

My parents were always amicable, for which I am extremely grateful. But they are also incredibly different, and my childhood was spent split between the weekdays at Mom’s (where I felt comfortable) and weekends at Dad’s (where I felt like an alien). It wasn’t his fault–it’s just that I am my mother’s twin, in many ways, and the differences in vibrational resonance that existed between my parents basically repeated themselves with me and him. Plus, my father never had any sisters, had a cool relationship with his own mother, and how he–an athletic, extroverted, 33-year old man’s man in the ’70s–managed to survive his time with two very little, TV-addicted, Tang-crystal-eating girls still amazes me. Let’s just say it wasn’t always comfortable.

Anyway, I big part of moving back to Toronto is to be closer to my Dad. The older I’ve gotten, the more I see him in me–and I find it very trippy that, although I have her red hair and her temperament, he’s left marks just as indelible: My humor is my father’s. My prediliction towards and enjoyment of performance (he is a courtroom lawyer)–his as well. I’m sure there’s more, and that’s why I’ve started cooking for him.

You see, I consider macrobiotics a subversive, biological tactic in the game of relationships. Much of human, familial and cultural connection comes through food. Not just the “Oh, I love falafel too!” connection, but actual blood-level resonance. When we eat the same foods, we start to hit the same wavelength, at least for a while. That’s why McDonald’s going global is so scary, but that’s a whole other blog. So, in an effort to increase our connection, I started cooking for Dad last week. I made him/us:

Noodles in Broth

Lundberg Wild Rice mix

Baked Halibut with Vegan Pesto/Vegenaise sauce

Teaser Caesar Salad

Crispy Rice Treats

We sat and watched the baseball game. Cleveland was ahead 3 games to 1 against Boston in the American League Playoffs. It looked like Boston was gonna choke. I have to admit, I felt oddly nervous presenting him the food and sitting down to eat together, alone. We didn’t have much to talk about–except the game. I was ten years old when the Toronto Blue Jays were born and Dad took take me to the early games, at Exhibition Stadium. I remember the names of some of the earliest players: Damaso Garcia, Lloyd Moseby, Dave Steib (25 MILLION DOLLAR STEIB!!) To this day, baseball is really the only professional sport I understand. Dad loved the noodles in broth, “mmmm-ing” as he slurped. I reminded him that he took Sue and I to see the Sox at Fenway Park about thirty years ago, and the game had been against… Cleveland! He hadn’t remembered who they’d played, but recalled the trip. The fish–always a dodgy prospect–turned out beautifully. Boston, in the name of everything-eventually-becomes-its-opposite, didn’t choke and Dad asked if there were more Rice Crispy treats. When we were done, I left him two extra treats in the ‘fridge, and drove home. Boston made it to the Series.

filed under My Life


Dear Website Cruiser,

My blog got hacked, or died, or just needed some time alone, and it all went ‘poof’–disappeared! FUUUUUUUUUUDGE! My behind-the-scenes heroes are working on it, and we will try to restore it all. Please come back soon.

Chew well,

Jessica

filed under My Life


April 18th, 2007.

So, I’ve been thinking… I want to make this forum helpful to people, so I am considering it my homework, from now on, to cook interesting things on a regular basis and report them to you. That way, I can pass on the cooking inspiration and WE CAN SAVE THE WORLD.

Speaking of the world, the whole Virginia Tech thing went down this week. No words can even get close to the horror of it, and yet, the universe has made it so that we are each housed within our personal shells, and so “tragedy” is only ever felt one person at a time. In this circumstance, many, many individuals are feeling excruciating pain, but it actually never more than one person doing the feeling. The media, because of the numbers, is using this drama to create a hugeness, to lance a boil, that doesn’t actually exist. Just as love can be felt only on an individual basis, so can grief. One is much more pleasant than the other, and requires less support, but all perceptions are essentially subjective. I wonder if the movie we are creating on TV right now is not TEN THOUSAND TIMES more dramatic–and violent–than what is actually happening to the individuals whose lives have been touched.

I am not suggesting that we have no compassion for the suffering–that is natural. And saying prayers or raising our vibrations to send support to them is good. But to engage in the orgy of the media is another thing all together–it is a mass hypnosis that leads to… God only knows… mass confusion? Rage? Paranoia?

But perhaps there’s actually a deeper reason for it. In my lifetime, we have gone from three major channels on the TV (yang–contracted, focused, fewer in number) to hundreds (yin–multiple, expanded, unfocused). We record, rent and download our personal media worlds from our laptops. Instead of three anchormen doing the hypnosis (and creating collective minds), thanks to the internet, there are now billions and billions of options, like a spray of fiber optics, splitting information into bits and pieces that we each, subjectively, grasp to create what we call “the world”.

I saw a Time Warner ad the other day that said “The world revolves around you” and I found that frightening. Yes, we create our own reality. Yes, we are watching our own inner “movies” all day, created by our own subconscious minds. But to have the actual external world actually bend and craft itself around the individual to suit that person’s subjectivity seems like the death of the collective–the death of any group-think at all. And group think–although it sometimes gets a bad rap–is not always bad. Groups do things like march on Washington against policies they collectively agree are destructive. They strike. And they vote. But most of all, in a group, all those subjectivities are actually made stronger, creating an entity larger than any small self. They hypnotize each other, and their energy grows through their collection. Think of the civil rights movement. The suffragettes. Hippies. Yes, there were Nazis too, so group think is not inherently good, but we’ve never gone a generation without it. Until now. I don’t really feel any group think anymore. Do you?

So maybe we milk the Virginia Techs not only because they are awful, and therefore bypass the the monotony of our conscious minds, but because they are our opportunity to come together–if only in horror–and experience something collectively. There is a real need for any entity, whether it’s an individual, a family, a nation or a planet, to experience its wholeness, its oneness, its larger self. We have split our consciousness into so many shards that we don’t get to feel that wholeness much anymore; instead, we are supposed to be comforted by the unique and fabulous “worlds” that the media are allowing us to fashion for ourselves. It is only when an unhappy self, bent on busting out of his isolation, sprays bullets into strangers, that we bother to look up from our ipods.

Eat whole grains.

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